The news about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has us thinking about health and wellness. The news can be scary about immune compromised people and how the virus spreads. There are many ways to protect ourselves from the virus. Most compelling is that self care makes a difference for us when it comes to this virus and well being. That self care includes daily routines that promote health all the time.
Protective measures include putting routines in place are both for your health and to be your best self. We all know to wash our hands thoroughly, avert coughing, and stand at a distance. Know to stay home when you are not well and spend time resting. These protective measures can be a part of our daily routines even after the virus passes. Happily we can go back to hugging!
There is an abundance of information on how to keep ourselves in great shape. These are the basics we are well familiar with and should be doing each and every day, regardless of the virus.
- Start by getting a great night’s sleep. Get ready early so you are in bed to get 8 hours of sleep. Set an environment that helps you get the rest you need and want with no electronics an hour before bed and a notepad by your bed for last minute thoughts. Research shows a cool environment with heavy covers helps you rest through the night.
- Eat a variety of veggies and go heavy on your protein for a well-balanced diet. We are what we eat! If you are stocking up, keep organized by decluttering your pantry and categorizing. A well stocked pantry makes it easier to eat healthy too. A healthy diet keeps your immune system up and running well.
- Exercise daily. My personal favorites are walking and pilates. Walk the extra stairs to work or park farther away to get some time in if you are short on possibilities.
While this is a scary time, it might also be the jump start you need to get these physical care activities into place in your life. A body that is well all the time fights off all illnesses.
Mindset self care
Research shows how stress affects our immunity to illness. We thrive on laughter and positivity. Keeping a sense of humor and laughter lightens your load. Spending time with family and friends brings you a sense of belonging. Setting aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music, are joyful ways to spend your time. As a lifelong learner, I value the power of small bites of information. I listen to podcasts to think big about what I want and learn new ideas. Actively manage your stress with practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or massage. Through apps, you can meditate daily to help you lower anxiety about life.
There is a lot on our minds! We have long to do lists, anxiety about health and family and work, and many decisions to make each day. Having time for prayer and meditation helps. Spiritual reading or time for meditation daily helps you sort through what is on your mind and get a bigger picture. On your phone, you can check out Headspace or the Mindfulness app. Both are free for use on your devices.
Routines for self care
By taking better care of yourself through routines, you are taking control of what you can control. It is not easy to practice self care in our busy lives with stressful jobs and activities. We can let technology get in the way of real self care. Start with one simple routine to empower your most important self care and gradually add to your routines. Remember that adage, put your own oxygen mask on first. It is especially the case with self-care. Embrace the self care we all need all the time.